Understanding Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease and Its Treatment Options
Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease, or Perthes Disease, is a childhood hip disorder that affects children between the ages of 4 and 8. It is characterized by the destruction of the hip joint and is most common in boys. In this article, we’ll discuss the causes and risk factors of Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease, its symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options. We’ll also discuss tips for coping with the condition.
Introduction to Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease is a childhood disorder that affects the hip joint. It is characterized by the destruction of the hip joint, which can lead to decreased range of motion and pain. It is most common in boys, with an estimated incidence of 1 in 1,000. It is caused by a disruption in the blood supply to the hip joint, which can lead to the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone.
The disease is named after the three physicians who discovered it in 1909: Sir George Legg, Dr Jean Calve, and Dr Guillaume Perthes. It is also sometimes referred to as “Perthes Disease.”
Causes and Risk Factors of Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
The exact cause of Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease is unknown, but it is thought to be related to a disruption in the blood supply to the hip joint. This disruption can cause the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone, leading to the symptoms of the disease.
There are several risk factors that can increase a child’s risk of developing Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease. These include:
• Age: The condition is most common in children between the ages of 4 and 8.
• Gender: Boys are more likely to develop the disease than girls.
• Family history: Children with a family history of the condition are more likely to develop it.
• Obesity: Children who are overweight or obese are at an increased risk of developing the disease.
• Trauma: Traumatic injuries to the hip can increase a child’s risk of developing the condition.
• Certain medical conditions: Children with certain medical conditions, such as sickle cell anaemia, diabetes, and inflammatory bowel disease, are at an increased risk of developing the disease.
Symptoms of Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
The symptoms of Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease can vary from child to child, but the most common symptoms include:
• Pain in the hip, groin, or thigh
• Decreased range of motion in the hip
• Swelling in the hip or thigh
• Weakness in the leg
• Difficulty walking
• Stiffness in the hip or thigh
• Difficulty standing or sitting
• Difficulty sleeping due to pain
If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor right away.
Diagnosis of Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
The diagnosis of Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease is typically made based on a physical examination and imaging tests, such as X-rays and MRI scans. During the physical exam, the doctor will check for pain and tenderness in the hip area and will assess the child’s range of motion.
The imaging tests will help the doctor determine the extent of the damage to the hip joint. The doctor may also order blood tests to rule out other conditions that may be causing the symptoms.
Treatment Options for Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
The treatment of Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease will depend on the severity of the condition and the age of the child. Treatment options can include both non-surgical and surgical options.
Non-Surgical Treatment Options
Non-surgical treatments for Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease can include:
• Physical therapy: Physical therapy can help to improve the range of motion, flexibility, and strength in the affected hip. It can also help to reduce pain and improve the child’s ability to walk.
• Bracing: A brace can be used to limit the range of motion in the affected hip and prevent further damage.
• Medication: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can be used to reduce pain and inflammation.
• Activity modification: Limiting activities that involve running, jumping, or other high-impact activities can help to reduce pain and prevent further damage to the hip joint.
• Weight loss: For children who are overweight, weight loss can help to reduce the strain on the hip joint and alleviate symptoms.
Surgical Treatment Options
If the non-surgical treatments are not effective, surgery may be recommended. The most common surgical procedures for Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease include:
• Osteotomy: In this procedure, the damaged portion of the hip joint is removed and the remaining healthy bone is reattached. This can help to improve the range of motion and reduce pain.
• Arthroplasty: In this procedure, the damaged portion of the hip joint is replaced with an artificial joint.
• Femoral osteotomy: In this procedure, the damaged portion of the femur (thigh bone) is removed and the remaining healthy bone is reattached. This can help to improve the range of motion and reduce pain.
Prognosis and Complications
The prognosis for Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease is generally good. Most children who are treated for the condition will have no long-term complications. However, some children may experience pain and stiffness in the affected hip joint, as well as difficulty walking.
Complications of Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease can include:
• Hip joint deformity
• Avascular necrosis
• Bone deformity
• Muscle weakness
• Joint stiffness
• Decreased range of motion
• Difficulty walking
It is important to talk to your doctor about the potential risks and complications of Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease before beginning any treatment plan.
Tips for Coping with Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
Living with Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease can be challenging for both the child and the family. Here are some tips for coping with the condition:
• Stay informed: Talk to your child’s doctor about the condition and the treatment options.
• Follow the doctor’s instructions: Make sure to follow your child’s doctor’s instructions for medication, physical therapy, and activity modification.
• Stay active: Encourage your child to stay active, within the limits of the doctor’s instructions.
• Find support: Find a support group or online community for families dealing with Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease.
• Get help: If your child is having difficulty coping with the condition, talk to a mental health professional.
Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease is a childhood hip disorder that affects children between the ages of 4 and 8. It is caused by a disruption in the blood supply to the hip joint, which can lead to the destruction of the joint’s cartilage and bone. The symptoms of the condition include pain in the hip, groin, or thigh, limping, and decreased range of motion in the hip. Treatment options can include both non-surgical and surgical options, and the prognosis for the condition is generally good. With the right treatment plan, most children with Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease can lead active and healthy lives.
Legg-Calve-Perthes disease – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic
Perthes Disease (Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease) | Johns Hopkins Medicine